Sitting on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and the city of St. Paul, the 36,500-square- foot, forty-two-room James J. Hill House stands as a monument to the man who built the Great Northern Railway. It remains one of the best examples of Richardsonian Romanesque mansions in the country.
In 1868, the grain trade in Minnesota was growing, but few railroads existed in the state. Steamboats were the supreme mode of transportation. William Robinson built a grain warehouse on the banks of the Mississippi to take advantage of the steamboat traffic. Shortly afterward the town of Jefferson was plotted. In a few years, however, the railroad came through, and a larger town was platted to the south. The Jefferson Grain Warehouse quickly became obsolete.
The K.J. Taralseth Company building is a physical reminder of the early commercial development of Warren. After moving from a brick store that was destroyed by fire in 1910, Ralph Taralseth built a new store that reflected the company's success. The new building carried a mixed product line for which the company became known. It also provided space for the professional services and fraternal organizations forming in and around Warren.
KleinBank is the largest family-owned state bank in Minnesota, with assets worth over $1.4 billion in 2012. There are nineteen locations throughout Minnesota, including Buffalo, Chanhassen, Cologne, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Norwood Young America, Otsego, St. Bonifacius, and Victoria.
Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, and Pokegama Falls Dams were built in the Mississippi Headwaters during the late 19th century. These structures preceded the construction of the Headwaters reservoir system and played key roles in flood prevention and river control during the 20th century.
In 1880, two Minneapolis businessmen built the Lincoln Flouring Mill in Anoka, Minnesota. The Lincoln Mill became one the largest country flour mills in the state, surviving until 1939 in spite of catastrophes like the Anoka fire of 1884.
The R.W. Lindholm Service Station in Cloquet was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1958, it was the only building concept ever constructed from Wright's utopian vision of a model American community called Broadacre City.
The Luce Line Railroad, known by several different names, was a small rural Minnesota railroad that operated through much of the twentieth century. It connected rural communities in western Minnesota to the Twin Cities and offered transportation for passengers, lumber, grain, and other commodities.
Working as a lumberjack in northern Minnesota was a difficult job with poor living conditions. Many loggers blew off steam by drinking, gambling, or visiting brothels. "Sky pilots," or visiting ministers, tried to save the men's souls and put them on the road to holiness rather than vice.
Tired of ethnic discrimination as well as dangerous working conditions, low wages, and long work days, immigrant iron miners on the Mesabi Range in northeastern Minnesota went on strike on July 20, 1907. It was the first organized strike on the state's Iron Range.
During the summer of 1916, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) coordinated a strike of iron ore miners on the Mesabi Iron Range. The strikers fought for higher wages, an eight-hour workday, and workplace reform. Although the strike failed, it was one of the largest labor conflicts in Minnesota history.
When local enthusiasts wanted to lure major league sports to Minnesota in the 1950s, they made plans to build an outdoor stadium in the cornfields of Bloomington. Metropolitan Stadium—"the Met"— hosted Minnesota's professional baseball, football, and soccer teams until the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome replaced it in 1981.
Mickey Crimmons and Bert Mattson opened Mickey's Diner, located at 36 West Seventh Street in downtown St. Paul, in 1939. Such diners had gained popularity early in the twentieth century as inexpensive, often all-night, eateries. Built to resemble a rail car, Mickey's was particularly notable for its unique look. Its unusual architecture made it a local landmark, and earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway (MN&S) was a Minnesota short-line railroad that operated between the cities of Crystal and Northfield from 1918 until 1982. It was a profitable bridge line, routing traffic past the crowded freight yards of the Twin Cities onto connecting railroads at Northfield.
The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, commonly known as the Soo Line from a phonetic spelling of Sault, helped Minnesota farmers and millers prosper by hauling grain directly from Minneapolis to eastern markets.
In 1854 legislators in St. Paul requested a grant from the federal government to create a rail line across Minnesota Territory. Public outcry led to scandal and the repeal of the territory's first land grant bill.
Built in 1929 at Forty-Sixth East Fourth Street, the Minnesota Building represents a turning point in the economic history of downtown St. Paul and the architectural history of the entire Twin Cities area.
When James C. Burbank began his transportation business in 1851, it was a one-man operation. By 1859, Burbank's Minnesota Stage Company controlled all the major stagecoach lines in the state. In the years before railroads linked Minnesota communities, the Minnesota Stage Company played a crucial role in shaping the commercial and social life of the young state.
During the late 1800s, dairy farmers in Minnesota and other states faced what they considered a serious and immediate threat to their livelihoods: the growing popularity of a butter substitute called oleomargarine. For nearly a century, the dairy industry and its legislative allies waged a series of campaigns to prohibit or limit the manufacture and sale of margarine. No state retained its anti-margarine laws longer than Minnesota.
The Headwaters Dams were built between 1881 and 1912 in the Mississippi headwaters. The dams served to regulate river flow and assist navigation until 1938, when they were relegated to a flood control role.
Morton gneiss (pronounced “nice”), named for the town in Renville County where it has been quarried, is one of the oldest stones on the planet: about 3.5 billion years old. It is known for its beauty as an ornamental stone in buildings and monuments.
When George D. Munsing came to Minnesota in 1886 to produce a new line of woolen union suits, he founded an underwear empire. While selling everything from long johns to girdles, the Minnesota company urged generations of consumers, "don't say Underwear, say Munsingwear."
Writers of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution took a little more than one hundred words to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. It fell to Minnesota Congressman Andrew Volstead to write the regulations and rules for enforcement. The twelve-thousand-word Volstead Act remained in effect for thirteen years, from 1920 until Prohibition was repealed in December 1933.